Oregon PSR Prisoner Release Request to Governor Brown

Read Oregon PSR’s letter to Governor Brown detailing our concerns and about incarcerated Oregonians during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Health Professionals Call on Oregon Leaders to Protect Lung Health From Wildfire Smoke

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On May 18th, 2020, nearly 100 medical professionals and public health experts sent a letter to Oregon leaders asking for wildfire resilience measures to be funded as a preventative measure to protect from smoke during the Oregon wildfire season. Early evidence shows that exposure to fine particulate matter in smoke and air pollution may greatly increase COVID-19 mortality rates. By investing in preventative measures such as wildfire education and air filtration in homes and shelters, Oregon leaders can help increase resilience to COVID-19 as the summer wildfire season intensifies. 

Read our letter to Governor Kate Brown and Oregon lawmakers.

Read our press release.

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Reflections on the Greenfield Peace Writing Scholarship Awards Ceremony 2020

We know that young people are vitally important in creating a better world now and for future generations. For the twelfth consecutive year, we have organized the Greenfield Peace Writing Scholarship to encourage Oregon’s youth to reflect some of the most pressing issues of our time. On Saturday, April 25th, we honored the 2020 high school student winners at our online awards ceremony. The theme of the evening was the intersection between climate justice and immigrant justice.

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Take Action: Protect Lung Health from Wildfire Smoke

Cascade-Siskiyou National MonumentCascade-Siskiyou National Monument

The Pacific Northwest is famous for its incredible forests, ecosystems with incredible biodiversity that also serve as an irreplaceable asset for reducing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Fires are a natural part of forest health, yet the smoky air that results can harm human lungs. Experts agree that 2020 will likely be an intense fire season at a time when respiratory health is even more important because of COVID.

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Announcing the Winners of Our 2020 Greenfield Peace Writing Scholarship

Oregon PSR is thrilled to announce the high school student winners of the 2020 Greenfield Peace Writing Scholarship. The winning entries were selected from among 80 submissions by high school juniors and seniors from across the state of Oregon. The student winners, who will be honored for their essays, poems, or stories, responded to the following writing prompt:

“How would an effective movement for climate justice benefit immigrant communities?”

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A Message From Dr. Pat O’Herron, Our Board President

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Dear Oregon PSR Supporter,

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic is affecting us all. In my work as a surgeon, I am inspired to see the collective work of everyone in the hospital. Nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, x-ray technicians, house cleaners, and so many more are all pulling together to care for the sick and injured despite personal risk. Health care workers are putting the needs of our communities first, despite the challenges of limited supplies of personal protective equipment and a paucity of COVID-19 tests. Our entire community is stepping up and making major sacrifices by closing businesses and staying home from work. Community members are pitching in by making masks and gowns.

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Building Peace & Justice in Oregon & Beyond

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The work of Oregon PSR’s Peace Program to ensure healthy communities free from the injustice of war, militarism, racism, and nuclear weapons has rarely felt more urgent. In this time of global pandemic, as our interconnectedness across the planet becomes apparent, the folly of spending exorbitant amounts of money on nuclear weapons rather than meeting basic human needs is starkly visible. Our partners at International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) have created the useful infographic above illustrating the disproportionate spending on nuclear weapons in contrast to the urgent health needs to address the pandemic.

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Hope in Trying Times - Our Recent Wins for a Healthy Climate

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Jordan Cove LNG protest at Oregon's state capitol in Salem (photo credit: Emma Jones)

A new year and a new decade are upon us, and already 2020 has brought a huge set of changes and challenges for our communities. A global pandemic has starkly revealed the many ways in which we are failing to care for the health and well-being of our poor and working class, unhoused neighbors, immigrant communities, and other vulnerable people. Oregon’s already short legislative session was cut even shorter by Republican walkouts, making it impossible to pass critical new laws. Yet despite these challenges, we see people coming together to take care of each other, bringing supplies and mutual aid to one another, and all the while still tackling climate change as the broad-scale public health crisis that it remains.

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Introducing Our Campaign for Clean Air in Marion County

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Since 1986, the Covanta Marion waste incinerator (pictured above behind a nearby childcare facility) has been polluting Marion County just east of I-5 and north of Salem. Municipal garbage from the County, as well as medical waste imported from other states, are fed into the incinerator, producing highly toxic air emissions and ash. In fact, the facility is so toxic that it was singled out by the Cleaner Air Oregon program as a top priority for increased scrutiny out of hundreds of facilities statewide.

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Oregon's 2020 Legislative Session - Oregon PSR's Take

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Due to a series of Republican walkouts over climate legislation, Oregon’s short five-week legislative session stagnated for its final two weeks, leaving a huge list of beneficial bills to languish. We condemn the walkout of legislators on our democratic process, which is harming thousands of Oregonians statewide. Here are the bills that Oregon PSR worked on this session, none of which passed both chambers in Salem:

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